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What Killed Aiyana Stanley-Jones?: TPC Refutes Award Winning Journalist LeDuff’s Claim That 7-Year-Old Child Was Killed By Detroit’s Monumental Struggles

Charlie LeDuff is an award winning journalist who wrote about a police shooting that killed a 7-year-old little girl named Aiyana Stanley-Jones one night in Detroit nearly 3 years ago. The little girl was asleep on the sofa with her grandmother when a police swat team expelled a stun-grenade into the front window of their home while simultaneously kicking in the door, firing a single gunshot into the house, and killing young Aiyana instantly. In the confusion of it all, conflicting stories emerged regarding what led to the child’s death. While police reports claim the child’s grandmother engaged in a confrontation with police, causing a gun to discharge accidentally killing the little girl, details soon revealed that the official version of how Aiyana actually died was nothing short of pure fabrication on the part of Detroit’s finest. The police were conducting a no-knock search warrant for a murder suspect named Chauncey Owens who had been named by an informer as the person who killed 17-year-old Re’Jean Blake Nobles pertaining to a recent homicide case. The swat team conducting the warrant that night was being trailed by an A&E Television Network crew, filming an episode of “The First 48 hours”. There has since been concern that cops may have intentionally dramatized the scene that night to help bolster viewership of the show at the behest of television producers. It seems plausible that gun toting cops engaged in a pseudonym high threat warrant search solely for T.V. promotion purposes. It has since been confirmed that the informer who named Owens as the alleged suspect, had previously advised cops that children lived at the home. Police even walked past toys strewn in the yard of the home when they conducted the raid. There was one other disturbing factor as well. The cops had the wrong house.

lillibridge

The home on Lillibridge street in Detroit where 7-year-old Aiyana Jones was killed is a duplex clearly marked with two addresses. The suspect Chauncey Owens lived in the upstairs flat, but cops raided the unit on the right where young Aiyana lived.

 

After realizing that Aiyana had been shot, cops snatched up the child’s lifeless body like a rag doll, hustled her outside of the home, and attempted to resuscitate her on the sidewalk. It’s very confusing to understand why trained law enforcement personnel would move a shooting victim, when they experience such trauma all the time, and know  such critically wounded victims should never be moved until qualified Emergency Medical Technician (EMT) personnel arrive at the scene to properly assess the severity of the victims injuries, a rudimentary practice within police agencies nationwide. To add insult to injury, the child’s distraught grandmother who had just witnessed cops shoot her grandchild was arrested and charged with obstruction of justice among other charges. This is how cops on the scene that night wrote their official reports and the media has ran with this account ever since.

Although the cop’s version of what happened that night depicted a grandmother attempting to grab police officer Joseph Weekley’s gun resulting in Aiyana’s killing, they have never offered a creditable explanation why she would even do so, when considering that the suspect they were looking for didn’t even live in the house the cops raided. Some how for unknown reasons, police on the scene that night decided to conspire a cooked up story blaming the little girl’s grandmother for causing her death. The entire event demonstrates how police have the ability to falsify official reports to suit their interest. The life of a 7-year-old little black girl meant nothing to Detroit police when it became clear that it’s agency would come under fire with severe scrutiny once details related to Aiyana’s killing became public. Whether young Aiyana’s killing was accidental or not, any unarmed child killed by police gunfire is simply unconscionable, but perhaps the most disturbing factor related to this case is the fact that none of the reported 15 sworn police officers on the scene that night had the desire, integrity, and courage to truthfully report what actually happened to an innocent child.

It wasn’t until the Jones family retained Geoffrey Fieger, the flamboyant, brass-knuckled lawyer who represented Dr. Jack Kevorkian—a.k.a. Dr. Death, that the truth related to how Aiyana actually died came to the surface. Fieger went on an all out assault against Detroit PD accusing the department of outright lying about what happened the night Aiyana was killed. Fieger reportedly had been allowed to view an A&E Network film captured during the raid on the Lillibridge street home where Aiyana lived with her grandmother, and showed officer Weekley firing into the house immediately after he kicked the door open from a position on the porch outside of the house. Everyone on the scene that night including the film crew reported that only a single gunshot was fired that night. The film demonstrates that the police version of events could not possibly have occurred, that cops had lied, falsified reports, and locked up the child’s grandmother without cause after she had just witnessed cops shot her innocent grandchild. Although the intended suspect Chauncey Owens was arrested in the upstairs of the adjacent unit, police and the media continued to falsely report that he was actually captured in the upstairs of the house where the little girl was killed, seemingly corroborating the account that the grandmother was attempting to hinder Owens’  arrest. The image above shows that the two units were marked and clearly separate dwellings. Plain and simple, the police’s actions on the night young Aiyana was killed was nothing short of a complete, utter, and colossal “fuck up”, as one Detroit police official put it.

When Fieger gave interviews with the media, Aiyana’s grieving parents sat along side him, while her grandmother tearfully recounted the nights she spent locked up in a jail cell, and described the savagery, viciousness and callousness of Detroit police who killed an innocent little girl without having enough manhood to admit what they had done. It wouldn’t be until over a year later that officer Joseph Weekley would be charged with involuntary manslaughter, a weak watered down attempt at giving Aiyana’s family some sort of justice for her unprovoked killing. Postponements after postponements has the little girl’s grieving family held hostage while they wait for justice in yet another senseless killing of a black child. The case of Aiyana Jones has taken on all sorts of twist and turns since she died. Disputes over what happened continued, and even media question if Fieger actually saw a film captured that night, but what is clear is that young Aiyana is gone from us forever.

Moreover, journalist Charlie LeDuff writes a 6 page blog article months later offering a variety of factors unrelated to the cop shooting that killed Aiyana, as other prominent factors as to what actually killed the child. LeDuff’s bleeding heart, I love Detroit patriotism, and laced with other typical white media bullshit styled news reporting only served to depict him as a whining little bitch, yearning for the days that once were his thriving beloved hometown. The long venting diatribe went on and on about Detroit’s booming good old days within the famed “Motor City”. A city in which he himself admittedly abandoned during the era of Detroit’s financial collapse. When the pulse of America’s motor industry closed up shop in Detroit, whites who lost their blue collar jobs flee from a town which has since become predominantly black. LeDuff rants in his article about Detroit’s troubles, like it’s police department, educational system, city government, other municipal establishments, and while dully noting that such financial strife befell upon Detroit under black leadership. He even offers disturbing detail regarding the misdeeds of black politicians and other city officials. Though his disclosure of many of these incidents are in fact news worthy to the public, it’s clear the article has an undertone that Aiyana’s death was bound to happen, because the environment of a financially strapped, violent, and decaying town like Detroit was simply to toxic for a little black girl and other children to even exist. LeDuff writes with explicit detail about the conditions of some homesof black people he visited while researching this story, the decaying homes all across the city, how Owens’ alleged murderous act having been the reason while cops was even at Aiyana’s house in the first place ultimately resulting in her death, and the violence that plagues cities just like Detroit all over the country.

I admit LeDuff’s article “What Killed Aiyana Stanley-Jones” is a good read, it’s obvious he attempts to dance around the fact that a black child was killed at the hands of a Detroit police officer, and not because of lingering domestic strife resulting from failures within city government as his article infers. Articles like LeDuff’s only perpetuates stereotypes regarding African-Americans within inner cities. In particular, I am troubled by the notion LeDuff offers when he quotes a question that he posed to Aiyana’s father, asking “do you think the way you lived contributed to your daughter’s death.” That perspective literally attempts to negate what happened to the child while trying to rationalize that Aiyana’s death was a direct result of her environment which she had absolutely no control over. It’s insulting and undermines the tragedy which fell upon this innocent little girl.  I am sure many from within the public just like me are disturbed by the violent culture that exist within many urban communities, but many are also mindful of exactly what produces such violence as well. Unless you have lived it and experienced poverty along with all of the unfortunate negativity that it brings, perhaps finger pointing is nothing more that one’s own depiction of self-righteousness when looking at the plight of poor people from the outside. Not everyone flee from Detroit during it’s unraveling, and I find it simply insulting, whether LeDuff is a native of Detroit or not, that he can reemerge years later swaying his “greater than thou” pen around while casting negative light on black people living in Detroit who are in their own right, victims of a systemic culture of corruption, and poor city government themselves.

It’s amazing how many people, mostly arrogant whites, can readily identify struggles within the African-American community without offering solutions to many of the problems that exist. LeDuff’s article isn’t lacking continuity related to serious social, economical, and political disparity within Detroit’s black community, but it’s also void of any proactive contribution which could bring about change in struggling cities like Detroit either. While it was interesting to learn about many of the struggles that Detroit citizens now face, the fact remains that young Aiyana Jones was killed by a Detroit police officer without any justification what so ever. Media attempts to convey any other scenario to the contrary only falls flat on it’s face, solely because Michigan State Officials apparently saw what Geoffrey  Fieger had alleged all along, otherwise he probably wouldn’t have been charged in the little girl’s killing. More importantly, Weekley nor any of the other cops on the scene the night Aiyana was killed can justify firing a weapon into a home where children lived without establishing a creditable threat to cops entering the home. It’s very interesting how charges have now come against officer Weekley once Detroit police, and Michigan State police obtained a copy of the film the A&E crew captured that night. Detroit is plagued with violence just like many other cities in America, but the death of Aiyana Jones wasn’t because of these monumental struggles, it was because of one cop who “fucked up”, and to infer that her death is merely simple collateral damage resulting in criminal behavior of adults related to the child is simply absurd. I am appalled by any violence that results in the life of any human being, but I am even more appalled by rogue cops that kill innocent children without provocation, and attempt to cover it up. It’s just sad to see that an award winning journalist, a gatekeeper of society, has failed to objectively interpret this senseless and tragic story that resulted in the unnecessary death of an innocent little girl name Aiyana Jones. Though I have never looked at this case from a perspective of race, I can’t help but think about how this case would have unfolded if Aiyana was a white kid, and Weekley was a black cop.

 

 
The People’s Champion

I’m David Adams

David Adams

Self proclaimed geek, Advocate for the homeless, Social Change, Crime Blogger, and mobile technology enthusiast. A recognized Journalist and Human Interest Writer championing the plight of the masses whom are without a voice of their own.

More Posts - Website

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Charlie LeDuff is an award winning journalist who wrote about a police shooting that killed a 7-year-old little girl named Aiyana Stanley-Jones one night in Detroit nearly 3 years ago. The little girl was asleep on the sofa with her grandmother when a police swat team expelled a stun-grenade into the front window of their home while simultaneously kicking in the door, firing a single gunshot into the house, and killing young Aiyana instantly. In the confusion of it all, conflicting stories emerged regarding what led to the child’s death. While police reports claim the child’s grandmother engaged in a confrontation with police, causing a gun to discharge accidentally killing the little girl, details soon revealed that the official version of how Aiyana actually died was nothing short of pure fabrication on the part of Detroit’s finest. The police were conducting a no-knock search warrant for a murder suspect named Chauncey Owens who had been named by an informer as the person who killed 17-year-old Re’Jean Blake Nobles pertaining to a recent homicide case. The swat team conducting the warrant that night was being trailed by an A&E Television Network crew, filming an episode of “The First 48 hours”. There has since been concern that cops may have intentionally dramatized the scene that night to help bolster viewership of the show at the behest of television producers. It seems plausible that gun toting cops engaged in a pseudonym high threat warrant search solely for T.V. promotion purposes. It has since been confirmed that the informer who named Owens as the alleged suspect, had previously advised cops that children lived at the home. Police even walked past toys strewn in the yard of the home when they conducted the raid. There was one other disturbing factor as well. The cops had the wrong house.

lillibridge

The home on Lillibridge street in Detroit where 7-year-old Aiyana Jones was killed is a duplex clearly marked with two addresses. The suspect Chauncey Owens lived in the upstairs flat, but cops raided the unit on the right where young Aiyana lived.

 

After realizing that Aiyana had been shot, cops snatched up the child’s lifeless body like a rag doll, hustled her outside of the home, and attempted to resuscitate her on the sidewalk. It’s very confusing to understand why trained law enforcement personnel would move a shooting victim, when they experience such trauma all the time, and know  such critically wounded victims should never be moved until qualified Emergency Medical Technician (EMT) personnel arrive at the scene to properly assess the severity of the victims injuries, a rudimentary practice within police agencies nationwide. To add insult to injury, the child’s distraught grandmother who had just witnessed cops shoot her grandchild was arrested and charged with obstruction of justice among other charges. This is how cops on the scene that night wrote their official reports and the media has ran with this account ever since.

Although the cop’s version of what happened that night depicted a grandmother attempting to grab police officer Joseph Weekley’s gun resulting in Aiyana’s killing, they have never offered a creditable explanation why she would even do so, when considering that the suspect they were looking for didn’t even live in the house the cops raided. Some how for unknown reasons, police on the scene that night decided to conspire a cooked up story blaming the little girl’s grandmother for causing her death. The entire event demonstrates how police have the ability to falsify official reports to suit their interest. The life of a 7-year-old little black girl meant nothing to Detroit police when it became clear that it’s agency would come under fire with severe scrutiny once details related to Aiyana’s killing became public. Whether young Aiyana’s killing was accidental or not, any unarmed child killed by police gunfire is simply unconscionable, but perhaps the most disturbing factor related to this case is the fact that none of the reported 15 sworn police officers on the scene that night had the desire, integrity, and courage to truthfully report what actually happened to an innocent child.

It wasn’t until the Jones family retained Geoffrey Fieger, the flamboyant, brass-knuckled lawyer who represented Dr. Jack Kevorkian—a.k.a. Dr. Death, that the truth related to how Aiyana actually died came to the surface. Fieger went on an all out assault against Detroit PD accusing the department of outright lying about what happened the night Aiyana was killed. Fieger reportedly had been allowed to view an A&E Network film captured during the raid on the Lillibridge street home where Aiyana lived with her grandmother, and showed officer Weekley firing into the house immediately after he kicked the door open from a position on the porch outside of the house. Everyone on the scene that night including the film crew reported that only a single gunshot was fired that night. The film demonstrates that the police version of events could not possibly have occurred, that cops had lied, falsified reports, and locked up the child’s grandmother without cause after she had just witnessed cops shot her innocent grandchild. Although the intended suspect Chauncey Owens was arrested in the upstairs of the adjacent unit, police and the media continued to falsely report that he was actually captured in the upstairs of the house where the little girl was killed, seemingly corroborating the account that the grandmother was attempting to hinder Owens’  arrest. The image above shows that the two units were marked and clearly separate dwellings. Plain and simple, the police’s actions on the night young Aiyana was killed was nothing short of a complete, utter, and colossal “fuck up”, as one Detroit police official put it.

When Fieger gave interviews with the media, Aiyana’s grieving parents sat along side him, while her grandmother tearfully recounted the nights she spent locked up in a jail cell, and described the savagery, viciousness and callousness of Detroit police who killed an innocent little girl without having enough manhood to admit what they had done. It wouldn’t be until over a year later that officer Joseph Weekley would be charged with involuntary manslaughter, a weak watered down attempt at giving Aiyana’s family some sort of justice for her unprovoked killing. Postponements after postponements has the little girl’s grieving family held hostage while they wait for justice in yet another senseless killing of a black child. The case of Aiyana Jones has taken on all sorts of twist and turns since she died. Disputes over what happened continued, and even media question if Fieger actually saw a film captured that night, but what is clear is that young Aiyana is gone from us forever.

Moreover, journalist Charlie LeDuff writes a 6 page blog article months later offering a variety of factors unrelated to the cop shooting that killed Aiyana, as other prominent factors as to what actually killed the child. LeDuff’s bleeding heart, I love Detroit patriotism, and laced with other typical white media bullshit styled news reporting only served to depict him as a whining little bitch, yearning for the days that once were his thriving beloved hometown. The long venting diatribe went on and on about Detroit’s booming good old days within the famed “Motor City”. A city in which he himself admittedly abandoned during the era of Detroit’s financial collapse. When the pulse of America’s motor industry closed up shop in Detroit, whites who lost their blue collar jobs flee from a town which has since become predominantly black. LeDuff rants in his article about Detroit’s troubles, like it’s police department, educational system, city government, other municipal establishments, and while dully noting that such financial strife befell upon Detroit under black leadership. He even offers disturbing detail regarding the misdeeds of black politicians and other city officials. Though his disclosure of many of these incidents are in fact news worthy to the public, it’s clear the article has an undertone that Aiyana’s death was bound to happen, because the environment of a financially strapped, violent, and decaying town like Detroit was simply to toxic for a little black girl and other children to even exist. LeDuff writes with explicit detail about the conditions of some homesof black people he visited while researching this story, the decaying homes all across the city, how Owens’ alleged murderous act having been the reason while cops was even at Aiyana’s house in the first place ultimately resulting in her death, and the violence that plagues cities just like Detroit all over the country.

I admit LeDuff’s article “What Killed Aiyana Stanley-Jones” is a good read, it’s obvious he attempts to dance around the fact that a black child was killed at the hands of a Detroit police officer, and not because of lingering domestic strife resulting from failures within city government as his article infers. Articles like LeDuff’s only perpetuates stereotypes regarding African-Americans within inner cities. In particular, I am troubled by the notion LeDuff offers when he quotes a question that he posed to Aiyana’s father, asking “do you think the way you lived contributed to your daughter’s death.” That perspective literally attempts to negate what happened to the child while trying to rationalize that Aiyana’s death was a direct result of her environment which she had absolutely no control over. It’s insulting and undermines the tragedy which fell upon this innocent little girl.  I am sure many from within the public just like me are disturbed by the violent culture that exist within many urban communities, but many are also mindful of exactly what produces such violence as well. Unless you have lived it and experienced poverty along with all of the unfortunate negativity that it brings, perhaps finger pointing is nothing more that one’s own depiction of self-righteousness when looking at the plight of poor people from the outside. Not everyone flee from Detroit during it’s unraveling, and I find it simply insulting, whether LeDuff is a native of Detroit or not, that he can reemerge years later swaying his “greater than thou” pen around while casting negative light on black people living in Detroit who are in their own right, victims of a systemic culture of corruption, and poor city government themselves.

It’s amazing how many people, mostly arrogant whites, can readily identify struggles within the African-American community without offering solutions to many of the problems that exist. LeDuff’s article isn’t lacking continuity related to serious social, economical, and political disparity within Detroit’s black community, but it’s also void of any proactive contribution which could bring about change in struggling cities like Detroit either. While it was interesting to learn about many of the struggles that Detroit citizens now face, the fact remains that young Aiyana Jones was killed by a Detroit police officer without any justification what so ever. Media attempts to convey any other scenario to the contrary only falls flat on it’s face, solely because Michigan State Officials apparently saw what Geoffrey  Fieger had alleged all along, otherwise he probably wouldn’t have been charged in the little girl’s killing. More importantly, Weekley nor any of the other cops on the scene the night Aiyana was killed can justify firing a weapon into a home where children lived without establishing a creditable threat to cops entering the home. It’s very interesting how charges have now come against officer Weekley once Detroit police, and Michigan State police obtained a copy of the film the A&E crew captured that night. Detroit is plagued with violence just like many other cities in America, but the death of Aiyana Jones wasn’t because of these monumental struggles, it was because of one cop who “fucked up”, and to infer that her death is merely simple collateral damage resulting in criminal behavior of adults related to the child is simply absurd. I am appalled by any violence that results in the life of any human being, but I am even more appalled by rogue cops that kill innocent children without provocation, and attempt to cover it up. It’s just sad to see that an award winning journalist, a gatekeeper of society, has failed to objectively interpret this senseless and tragic story that resulted in the unnecessary death of an innocent little girl name Aiyana Jones. Though I have never looked at this case from a perspective of race, I can’t help but think about how this case would have unfolded if Aiyana was a white kid, and Weekley was a black cop.

 

 
The People’s Champion

I’m David Adams

David Adams

Self proclaimed geek, Advocate for the homeless, Social Change, Crime Blogger, and mobile technology enthusiast. A recognized Journalist and Human Interest Writer championing the plight of the masses whom are without a voice of their own.

More Posts - Website

Follow Me:
TwitterFacebookLinkedInGoogle Plus

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2 Responses to “What Killed Aiyana Stanley-Jones?: TPC Refutes Award Winning Journalist LeDuff’s Claim That 7-Year-Old Child Was Killed By Detroit’s Monumental Struggles”

  1. With thanks! Valuable information!

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